Tell Congress: Oregon needs more funding. Now!

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Unless Congress sends more funds to the states, the pain being felt by Oregonians will only increase. In the middle of dealing with a pandemic and an economic crash, Oregon will need to cut funding for health care, public safety, education, and services that protect the most vulnerable among us.

Only Congress has the means to contain the budget crisis about to slam Oregon and all other states. Unlike the federal government, Oregon cannot run a deficit. The state cannot spend more revenue than it collects. Recessions, however, cause revenue collection to dive. Without federal assistance, the state’s options during economic downturns are to spend reserves, cut funding to vital programs — just as more Oregonians turn to state services for help — or raise taxes.

Congress has so far failed to shore up state budgets. Tell Congress help is vital.

While the CARES Act, the most recent and largest federal relief package, includes some funding for pandemic related costs, it doesn’t provide states funding to protect essential public services. While the CARES Act contains helpful provisions, Oregon is entering what could be a bigger budget crisis than that experienced during the Great Recession.

Tell Congress: Shore up state budgets. Now.